The Stomach

The stomach is the mixing area for our food. It mixes the food with acid and secretions that start the digestive process. The lining of the stomach produces these acids and secretions. Signs of stomach irritation or disease always include nausea and vomiting. Nausea is seen in pets when they drool or smack their lips. Vomiting is always preceded by a violent retching. If this retching does not occur before expulsion of food, then regurgitation should be suspected. Regurgitation is usually associated with problems of the esophagus and not the stomach. The stomach is divided into regions that have importance from a surgical and disease standpoint. The Cardiac region is the part closest to the heart and will be the area of illness from ingestion of caustic substances. This region is where the esophagus enters the stomach. The fundus usually has gas within it and on x-rays this area looks like the animal swallowed a rubber ball. The pylorus is the most commonly diseased region of the stomach, it is here that foreign objects will lodge. The pyloric valve also will have various diseases such as polyps, hyperplasia and ulcers from bile reflux. Surgery to open the pyloric valve is not uncommon in animals with chronic vomiting that cannot be stopped. Newer medications for gastric ulcers are helping to prevent this surgery. The most common cause of stomach disease is dietary indiscretion where the dog or cat eats garbage and subsequently starts vomiting. Withholding food and water can manage many causes of vomiting simply for a period. The omentum is a very thin sheet of tissue that attaches to the stomach. It is Mother Nature’s bandage. It can be used to cover surgical incisions into the intestines and prevent them from leaking. The duodenal papillae are the ports through which the pancreas and gall bladder secrete their juices. These secretions digest our food.

Stomach Test

Name the parts of the stomach. Give the difference between vomiting and regurgitation.
What is the most common cause of vomiting?
What is the common therapy for this illness?
What are the duodenal papillae for?
Where is there gas in the stomach on x-rays?